Oh, yeah, we also go, "Mwahahhhhhhh," and dream of tying damsels to railroad track for some odd reason.
There are blogs and websites out there whose sole purpose is to shut down the carriage driving industry. Apparently we are all bad, nasty, cruel folk who are ignorant about horses, can't negotiate through traffic, beat our animals and make them work every day of their lives until they drop dead right there on the street. Then, I guess, we give them one final vicious kick, just for funzies, and walk away leaving a trail of money in our wake because, apparently, we also fart cash.
Now, I know I will probably live to regret the above paragraph, because someone will copy the text, careful to omit certain words, and paste it into a message board somewhere, totally out of context, and decree; "Look, this one even admits it!"
Okey dokey, then. So here's the deal; Horses are large herbivores that have been domesticated for thousands of years. They have their own agenda, which really has nothing to do with ours, but this is the kicker: They're willing to do what we ask of them (work). In exchange, we're willing to do what they ask of us (food/shelter). It's a good trade, and in this economy I see humans asking for the same thing with an increasing amount of regularity.
Now, if you want to argue that because of advances in transportation, we no longer need horses to pull people around in carriages, that's true. But taking a page from the current economic situation, if we do that then we have all these unemployed carriage horses.
A RARA (Radical Animal Rights Activist) will reason that the now unemployed horses can then be "Put out to pasture", to live the remainder of their lives in some magical happy horse valley surrounded by green grass, clear streams and, apparently, rainbows. In this nirvana they will never require veterinary or farrier care, and the Wood Sprites will stop by to groom them.
How wonderful! I bet it's located right next to the lush and fertile land that abused and neglected children, refugees from war torn nations, and Michael Vick's pit bulls live!
Oh, wait, I know where M'Vicks dogs live. That would be Kanab, UT. The land there is neither lush nor fertile, although it is awesome red rock country. And the dogs live on a sanctuary that is constantly asking for donations.
The reality is, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to put up the money for the property, fence it in, make sure there are enough sources of fresh water for the tenants, and then open wide the gates for the crush of horses being "retired." T. Boone Picken's wife, Madeleine, offered to do this when, a few months back, the BLM was considering euthanizing a large number of the mustangs they are the stewards of because the herds were overpopulated and the land they were on could not support all of them. Let me translate that for you. The "wild" horses the Petards think live idyllic and bliss-filled lives were starving to death so their management team was going to have them killed.
Wow, sounds like heaven to me. Where do I sign up?
(To date, Mrs. Pickins has not done anything since her initial offer. Talk, as they say, is cheap. Land, however, is not.)
The real "awful truth" that Anti-Equestrienne-Eco-Terrorists don't want you to hear is this:
Our horses are better taken care of than a lot of people. In exchange for taking humans on a little ride around town, they are fed, housed, groomed, doctored, have their hooves attended to and loved.
Yes, I said that. Loved. Because I love Cletus, and I love Tony just as much as you love your pet. And trust me, if Cletus wasn't willing to do his job, all 150 pounds of me could not possibly force all 1800 pounds of him into it. That. Just. Doesn't. Work.
In conclusion, because unlike PETA and ALF and the rest of the Ban Carriage Horses Now! dweebs, I don't ask for money, throw paint on people, or exploit women as a way of drawing attention to my "cause". I'll do what I've always done when I run across someone who is misinformed and insists on spreading the PETA agenda. And that is this;
Every day I add a new name to list of people who can kiss my ass.